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Children: Social Services

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he has taken to ensure social workers and directors of children’s services are aware of the provisions of section 53 of the Children Act 2004; and whether his Department plans to issue good practice guidance on taking the views of children into account in decision-making. (291771)

The Government’s statutory guidance “Working Together to Safeguard Children” (2006), supplementary guidance associated with Working Together and the “Statutory guidance on making arrangements to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 11 of the Children Act 2004” (2007) all set out the responsibilities of directors of children’s services and social workers in relation to section 53 of the Children Act 2004. The training materials “Safeguarding Children—a shared responsibility” (2007), commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families to assist staff at all levels fulfil their safeguarding responsibilities, also explain these provisions and advise on how to implement them in appropriate ways. The updated Working Together, being revised following Lord Laming’s recommendations, will make even clearer the responsibilities of those concerned to ascertain the wishes and feelings of children.